California Scrub-Jay

1/640s at f5.6, ISO:1250, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/800mm

The California Scrub-Jays habitat is along the California coast. In recent years it has expanded its range north into the Puget Sound region of Washington. True to its name, the Western Scrub-Jay inhabits areas of low scrubs, preferring pinion-juniper forests, oak woods, and sometimes mesquite. The coastal population also inhabits suburban gardens. Primarily the female builds the nest low in trees or bushes above the ground, while the male guards her efforts. Four to six eggs are laid from March through July, with some regional variations. The female incubates the eggs for about 16 days. The young leave the nest about 18 days after hatching. They feed on small animals, such as frogs and lizards, eggs and young of other birds, insects, and (particularly in winter) grains, nuts, and berries. They can be aggressive towards other birds.
Pt. Reyes, CA